States reject White House's request for voter information - WNEM TV 5

States reject White House's request for voter information

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

The claim that millions of people voted illegally last November is the basis of a request that is proving controversial for the White House.

Dozens of states are rejecting a request to hand over detailed voter information to a group called the Commission on Election Integrity.

"I've been in the county clerk's office for 27 years and I've never been aware of a request like this from the White House," said Ann Manary, Midland County clerk.

Manary calls it an unusual request from the White House.

The White House sent letters to all 50 states asking for public voter information like full names, addresses and birth years. Some are alarmed by the request for private information like the last four digits of social security numbers and full birth dates.

That is something Michigan and many other states refuse to give.

"I think there's about 30 other states that are saying no, we're not giving you this info," Manary said.

Forty-four states have said they will either not comply or will partially comply with the request.

The big question on a lot of minds is what would the White House use the information for.

"Everyone thinks all this fraud if happening. I think that's part of it. They think by somehow getting this info that's not public, they can prove or disprove their points," Manary said.

Chris Kobach, vice chairman of the Commission on Election Integrity, confirmed that theory. He told NPR they are requesting the information to "understand issues of voter registration fraud" and that it's "needed to properly study the issue."

Manary said the request is an invasion of privacy.

"It is a violation of privacy because otherwise it would be public for everyone," Manary said.

Manary said any speculation over voter fraud is not warranted, even for the president of the United States.

"There's never this huge vote fraud that the Trump administration wants to portray. It's not true," Manary said.

Manary said at the end of the day the state of Michigan is putting the people first and will not release the private information without a valid reason.

"We have to protect the voter and we have to protect their info. We can't just give that info to anyone and it doesn't matter if you're the president or the pope. We're not going to give you info that's not public," Manary said.

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